On July 18, 1992, Whitney Houston married Bobby Brown. The media portrayed their relationship as the ultimate mismatch – she was the reigning Princess of Pop and he was R&B’s bad boy. But as Brown explained: “I may be a B-boy and she’s America’s sweetheart, but it’s love.” Their toxic relationship would ultimately be blamed, by many, for Houston’s demise. However, the new documentary “Whitney,” reveals that she had her share of personal demons long before she fell for Brown.
Houston first met Brown at the 1989 Soul Train Awards. As he strutted through the performance of his hit “My Prerogative,” he captured Houston’s attention. She invited him to her 26th birthday party, beginning their three-year courtship. The same evening, audience members booed when Houston’s name was announced as a nominee for the Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Single-Female award. The crowd was said to have been voicing, albeit crudely, a growing sentiment that Houston was a sell-out with her “too white” sound. Many believe one factor that made Brown particularly attractive to Houston was his popularity within the black community.
In 1992, the couple got married on Houston’s lawn under a giant gazebo decorated with purple flowers, Houston’s favorite color. In fact, the 800 guests, including Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Donald Trump, were encouraged to wear her preferred hue. In keeping with the over-the-top celebrity wedding fanfare, white doves were released after the couple exchanged their vows. Houston’s dress, a custom-made ivory satin gown by NY designer Marc Bouwer, cost a reported $40,000. Brown wore a white suit.
After they said “I do,” guests sipped on Dom Perignon, enjoyed an 18-tier wedding cake and danced all night in an opulent ballroom tent. The next day, the newlyweds began their honeymoon on a 140-foot yacht in the Mediterranean. Less than a year after their wedding, they had their daughter Bobbi Kristina, in March 1993.
However, it is an understatement to say it was not “happily ever after” for Houston and Brown. In fact, their 14-year marriage has been dubbed “the most tumultuous relationship in music history.” Their marriage was plagued by reports of infidelity, drug addiction and domestic abuse.
Many blamed Brown for Houston’s increasingly troublesome public behavior and alleged drug abuse. The odd behavior the couple displayed on the 2005 reality TV show “Being Bobby Brown” further stoked gossip. On April 24, 2007, Houston divorced Brown.
Despite her efforts to make a comeback, Houston was unable to overcome her demons. On February 11, 2012, she passed away at 48 years old.